Latest statistics show that Australia’s population is growing at a rate of more than a million every three years. This growth rate is being driven primarily by record rates of immigration and a relative young population, itself a product of rapid past immigration. Doubtless Peter Costello’s baby bonus has also made the situation worse by encouraging the increased fertility rates of Australian women.
At the present rate Australia will have a population of about 50 million by mid century and 100 million by the end of the century. If this sounds implausible, consider that at the end of World War II, just 64 years ago, Australia’s population was only 7.5 million, i.e. it has almost tripled in that time.
This population growth should be considered an economic and environmental problem of huge proportions. From the economic point of view, Australia relies mostly on mining and agriculture for its export earnings. These industries require a very small proportion of the population to operate (although it is true that due to inadequate training in the technical trades and engineering, they have suffered a temporary labour shortages in recent years).